Companies pursuing growth in the year ahead will need to pull from a variety of strategies. The most prevalent of those are product development and targeted marketing.
These areas focus on attracting new customers, which is critical. However, there’s one component you might be overlooking: customer service. The experience your customers have after they make a purchase correlates to their customer lifetime value.
If those experiences are poor or unsatisfactory, you can lose that customer and all the revenue you would have earned from them too. For businesses to maximize growth in 2022, customer service is vital.
What Research Says About Customer Service and Loyalty
Customer service and its impact on a brand are well-studied topics. Generally speaking, it’s obvious that bad customer experiences lead to churn. However, the definition of “bad” keeps changing as consumers face new challenges and have new expectations.
Customers can quickly form a negative opinion because they have to wait too long or feel that companies make it too difficult to find information. This means that customers may view a company as providing poor customer service before they even interact with that company!
Customer service is now one of the measures people consider when making buying decisions, with 90 percent of respondents in one survey saying it’s important. The average consumer has little tolerance for inept support, with about half of them ready to switch after one slipup, according to another survey. There’s no room for error in fostering trust between your company and customers.
To build a strategy that enhances service and experiences, you’ll need an innovative approach that relies on technology to complement well-trained, effective agents.
Customer Service in 2022 Looks Different
Along with heightened expectations around service and support, there’s another significant change that’s occurring in customer service in 2022: the channels that people use to get help. Days of dialing and queuing are long over. The majority of U.S. consumers prefer digital channels and email. Most people don’t have time to wait for assistance. If you can’t value their time and give them more options, they’ll find someone who can.
What’s really transforming customer experiences with brands is the thoughtful use of technology, namely conversational AI.
The Role of Conversational AI in Your Customer Service Strategy
Business growth is a good problem to have. But it can become a concern if you have a quick influx of new customers and no way to manage their needs. While you could add more support staff, that’s not an easy or cost-effective way to scale support operations.
Conversational AI and its ability to support self-service and agent interactions are. It’s a huge leap from the standard chatbot. Conversational AI is superior because it understands human language, sentiment, and intent. When someone poses a query, the technology analyzes all of it to deliver the most accurate answer.
If customers get the answers they need in self-service, they never create a ticket, meaning there’s no strain on agents. Not every customer will resolve issues via self-service. Some will require an agent, and conversational AI continues to be part of the workflow.
Conversational AI and Agent Assist
First, it intelligently routes the question to the group of agents most qualified to respond. For example, banks have many products and divisions. If a customer needs information about their 401(k), the agent who receives the ticket through chat would need to be in that department. You wouldn’t want the chat log to end up in the mortgage department. If that happens, customers will get frustrated, and agents lose productivity time.
Once the ideal agent has the ticket, conversational AI continues to augment the agent’s skills. It can provide existing macros or past tickets that seem relevant. Agents have access to the current ticket history. They also have searchable knowledge bases and other information at their fingertips, so they can boost their productivity and provide the best solution.
Your team doesn’t need any special training to use the tool. It’s intuitive and easy, fitting into any workflow. As a result, agents can be more productive and less stressed with these powerful tools.
A Thriving, Growing Business Modernizes Customer Service
Adopting new technology and approaches to customer service is a difference maker to customers in 2022. Customers expect fast, easy, and accurate responses. Meeting this need and minimizing the weight agents must carry is possible with conversational AI-powered customer support. It’s the future of service that draws on the advantages of technology without dehumanizing the experience.
Learn more about how it works and implementing it by reading, What Is Conversational AI, and Why Does It Matter?